Berlin. 7. November. 1799.
My dear brother.
I herewith enclose to you the following papers.
1. An original Note of hand from Jacob Mark & Co: signed by their agent John Speyer to Mr Engel for 26000.—dated 5. April. 1795.
2. An original letter from Jacob Mark & Co: dated New York, 26. July. 1799.—which may serve in case of need to prove their acknowledgement of the debt.
3.—A power of attorney from Mr. Engel to you, authorising you to recover the money, principal, & interest, in any manner, either by amicable arrangement or by process of law.
4. A letter from Mr Engel to you, containing his instructions, & an account of the manner, in which he has been treated by Jacob Mark & Co: in this business.
5.—A letter from him to Jacob Mark & Co:, which after reading you will seal and deliver, or send to them—It informs them of their having authorised you to recover the money.
You will observe that by the note of hand, six months notice must be given before the principal can be required—You will therefore immediately give the notice. But if they will immediately pay the interest, & at the expiration of the time of notice a small part of the principal, you may agree with them to that effect.
As they are a house in good credit, they will probably make some exertion to pay a small sum, rather than be sued for the whole—Recover therefore what you can, and as soon as you can.
The interest stipulated is at the rate of eigth per cent, & therefore I suppose not recoverable by process of law—.Though they told Mr Engel, (he says), that it was legal interest at New York.
Their default of payment has reduced him to the greatest distress: by depriving him of his only means of subsistence—As a house of any credit, they can surely if they will, raise the money at least to pay the interest; & every sentiment of charity as well as of honor ougth to persuade them no longer to delay it.
I shall send you in the course of a few days, duplicates of the letters & power, & authenticated copies of the original note, & letter from Jacob Mark & Co:—To serve if the originals shall miscarry in the conveyance.
MHi: Adams Family Papers, Letterbooks.